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Hurricane Irene: All Broadway shows cancel weekend performances

August 26, 2011 |  3:09 pm


In a rare capitulation to Mother Nature, Broadway shows across the board are canceling performances on Saturday and Sunday in response to Hurricane Irene and the shutdown of mass transit. All 23 Broadway shows in New York will close for the weekend.

The announcement was made late Friday by Nederlander, the owner of many Broadway houses, via its Twitter account. Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the New York area starting Saturday. Mass transit in the city and suburbs will shut down this weekend in response to the storm.

The Broadway League issued the following statement late Friday: "The safety and security of theatergoers and employees is everyone's primary concern. As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of Hurricane Irene, all performances will be canceled"  Saturday and Sunday.

The mass cancellation of Broadway performances is a rare event in New York. The last time Broadway saw an across-the-board cancellation was in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Shows will be offering refunds to ticket holders. The hurricane represents a significant loss in revenue for shows, some of which depend heavily on same-day ticket sales.

In addition to Broadway, the New York Fringe Festival has canceled a number of its theatrical events this weekend. The Metropolitan Opera has called off two outdoor screenings this weekend, and Lincoln Center has postponed the closing day of its Mostly Mozart Festival.

It remains unclear how many off-Broadway productions were also canceling performances due to the hurricane. Companies including Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Theatre and Naked Angels have announced they are calling off performances this weekend.


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-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from "The Book of Mormon." Credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters